Highlands and Islands Airports Limited [HIAL] figured for passenger number using each of their eleven airports in August 2012, show Islay with the greatest percentage growth, at 10.5%.
This is closely followed by Barra, with the wonderful romance of a flight landing and taking off from a superb white sand beach and the impact of the mesmeric An Island Parish TV series still – rightly – pulling them in.
After Barra, there’s a bit of a drop to Sumburgh – HIAL’s second most successful airport after Inverness - showing 4.7% growth for August 2012 compared to the same month last year.
The big loser was Wick which has followed a very modest drop of -2.4% in July – a bad month all round – with a whopping fall on August 2011 of -34.3%.
Argyll’s other two HIAL airports are Campbeltown, showing a minute fall on last year of 0.1% for August – and we understand that this relates to days when bad weather prevented flights; and Tiree, with a drop of -4.7%.
On the year’s performance to the end of August 2012, as compared with the same period for 2011, all three Argyll airports are showing growth in passenger numbers:
- Tiree at 5.3%
- Islay at 2.2%
- Campbeltown at 2.0%
Another issue to keep an aye on is aircraft movements at the airports.
Of the eleven HIAL airports, in a running total to the end of August 2012, Tiree , Campbeltown  and Barra [7-2] had the fewest flights.
Of concern – and to be addressed – is the fact that in 2012 to the end of August, as compared with the same period a year ago, Campbeltown has seen a huge 29.2% drop in aircraft movements [673 as opposed to 951]. This is a massive fall at the supply end which cannot be allowed to continue if Campbeltown is to succeed in its concerted and strategic drive for economic regeneration.
This is not just about destination development, destination marketing, it is about route marketing and route development – all of which have untapped potential. Time to get moving on all fronts.
Islay has, to date seen a fall on last year of -5.0% in aircraft movements over the period to end August, with 1473 as opposed to 1550.
Tiree again, bucks the trend with a rise of 12.8% in aircraft movements over the comparable period, 598 as opposed to 530.
Unsurprisingly, passenger demand has seen the flights to Barra increase in 2012 to end August by 7.3%, second only to Tiree as the highest percentage rise of any HIAL airport, with 702 aircraft movements, from 654 in 2011.